While it might not be something that many people are aware of, the week of Oct. 19 through Oct. 25 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Congress passed HR 1499 in Sept. 2008 to designate this week for helping the public to understand the benefits and importance of estate planning. Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman can help you to understand the types of documents that might benefit you the most in meeting your goals.
Discussing Your Estate Plan and Goals
Estate planning can help you to ensure that your property and assets are transferred to your intended beneficiaries in as seamless a manner as possible. This makes estate planning essential. Fort Lauderdale elder lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. can help you to create an estate plan or can review your existing plan and make any needed modifications.
History of Estate Planning
Written and oral wills can be traced back to at least ancient Rome when they appeared in the Code of Justinian. Under this body of law, wills that were approved by an official were recognized. In Medieval England during the Anglo-Saxon period, land transfers had to be approved by royalty. However, during the 12th century, the property was automatically passed to the oldest son of the deceased person. The Statute of Wills was enacted in the 16th century, allowing property owners to pass land that they owned to whomever they wanted instead of it going solely to their oldest sons. Women were commonly left out of estate plans, meaning that they were often disinherited. Today, men and women have equal rights to inherit property. There are no longer mandates defining who you can name as a beneficiary of your assets.
Modern Estate Planning
Estate planning has been inexorably linked to the estate tax to help people to reduce or avoid it. The estate tax was passed in 1916 during World War I and has since undergone multiple changes. The exclusion amount has been raised several times. As of 2020, the federal estate and gift tax exclusion is $11.54 million per person or $22.8 million for a married couple. The Internal Revenue Service cannot tax the excluded amount of an estate when estates are passed to beneficiaries. Estate planning also involves more than simply trying to avoid gift and estate taxes. Even if your estate is not large enough to trigger these taxes, Fort Lauderdale elder lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. can help you to avoid probate and to pass your property and assets in accordance with your wishes.
Estate planning has been important throughout history. The Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman help people with all aspects of planning their estates, including the preparation of wills and trusts. Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. also assists people with Medicaid planning and incapacitation planning. Contact us today for help with any of your estate planning needs by calling our office at 954.567.1060.